A room in Lisbon. A man dreams and establishes a theory to make it come true. This film is based on The Book of Disquiet , the posthumous work of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. It portrays the solitude of man through picturesque images and dramatic effects.
It is late night in a café. A typical young intellect in his early twenties with sharp black eyes peering through black steel framed glasses is muttering that the modern method of measuring time is wrong and staring at a young man who is slouched with a face that looks pale, indifferent, and worried, all at the same time. Modernist poet Fernando Pessoa, who had keen observations of the dailiness of modern times in Lisbon in the 1910s, The Book of Disquiet, which Pessoa wrote in 1913, and the character of Bernardo Soares, into whom Pessoa projected his identity, all come to life in Lisbon in the 21st century through this film. The film is based on The Book of Disquiet, a diary about the distance between feelings of loneliness and the monotonous reality of daily life written by Bernardo Soares who goes back and forth between the accountant’s office where works as an intern and his room, both of which are located on Rua dos Douradores in Lisbon, and may have been an impossible project to bring to the big screen; much like Joseph Strick’s attempt with James Joyce’s Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Nevertheless, João Botelho began this project that everyone advised him against with the conviction that the quality of cinematic time, which resists the chronological flow of time and is able to illustrate daily life in a fragmented and musical rhythm, was the optimal vessel in presenting the extratemporel text that refuses to be confined to the limitations of a ‘book’. The characters in the film and the additional incidents become existences themselves in no time and become a part of the present of 2010. (Park Jinhee)